Article 25(2) of the Free Movement Directive (Directive 2004/38/EC) permits member states to charge for residence and permanent residence documentation provided that charge does not exceed that imposed on their own nationals for the issuing of similar documents.
The Prime Minister announced on 21 January 2019 that, from 30 March 2019, there will be no fee for applications made under the EU Settlement Scheme. That does not apply to the fees payable for residence or permanent residence documentation issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016. The Government has been clear since the 2016 referendum that it is not necessary for EEA nationals to apply for such documents.
Those who hold a valid permanent residence document or have existing indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK are already exempt from paying an application fee under the EU Settlement Scheme.